EPL

Premier League data dive: Man City complete Bees doubles, Southampton surprise Tottenham with late fightback

By Sports Desk February 09, 2022

Premier League leaders Manchester City collected a routine victory over Brentford to further their advantage at the top.

That victory saw Pep Guardiola's side extend their lead at the summit to 12 points, with second-placed Liverpool due to host Leicester City on Thursday.

Tottenham fell to a late defeat against Southampton as Antonio Conte suffered his first home league loss as Spurs boss, while Aston Villa shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller with Leeds United.

And strugglers Norwich City picked up a valuable draw at home to Crystal Palace, with Dean Smith's side now a point behind 17th-placed Newcastle United as the relegation battle continues.

Here, Stats Perform unpacks the pick of the Opta data from the day's top-flight action.

Manchester City 2-0 Brentford: Citizens cruise to league double over Bees

Strikes either side of the interval from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez helped City to a 2-0 win over Brentford as the Citizens completed the league double over the Bees for the first time since 1936-37.

Mahrez opened the scoring as he netted in his seventh consecutive game across all competitions for City – only Lionel Messi (twice) and Sergio Aguero have previously achieved that feat under Pep Guardiola.

De Bruyne doubled the hosts' lead in the second half, the midfielder recording his 85th goal involvement (35G 50A) in his 96th top-flight appearance at the Etihad Stadium, where he has found the net five times in his last four games.

Brentford rarely troubled Ederson's goal and were caught offside 10 times in the match, the most by a Premier League team since January 2018 as City recorded their 100th clean sheet under Guardiola in the competition.

The Bees have now lost five consecutive league matches for the first time since December 2007, under Terry Butcher in League Two, and for the first time in the top flight since April 1947 (seven in a row).

Tottenham 2-3 Southampton: No home comforts for Conte

Southampton twice rallied from behind to earn a late 3-2 victory at Tottenham to end Conte's unbeaten start at home in the league as Spurs boss.

Jan Bednarek poked into his own net to give Spurs the lead, the centre-back now on a Premier League-high three own goals since the start of 2019-20. Similarly, Tottenham have benefited from the most own goals in the competition this season (three).

But Armando Broja soon levelled up. That was the Albania striker's sixth top-flight goal this term – only Kevin Davies (nine in 1997-98) managed more in the Premier League for Southampton while aged 20 or under.

Son Heung-min restored his side's advantage with his 12th strike against Southampton across all competitions, five more than he has registered against any other team for Spurs.

Saints fought back again, Mohamed Elyounoussi equalising before Che Adams sealed victory. Both finishes were set up by James Ward-Prowse, who assisted two goals in a single Premier League match for only the second time in 290 appearances.

Having equalised in the 79th minute, Southampton's victory was the latest they had been behind in a Premier League match that they would go on to win since March 2016 against Liverpool (equalised in 83rd minute).

Aston Villa 3-3 Leeds United: Whites continue away scoring run in Villa Park classic

Aston Villa, who had Ezri Konsa dismissed late on, shared the points with Leeds in a 3-3 thriller as Dan James, Jacob Ramsey and Philippe Coutinho dominated proceedings.

James scored his third and fourth Premier League goals this term, his best-ever tally in a season, though Marcelo Bielsa found his side 3-2 down at half-time.

Coutinho initially cancelled out James' opener as he became the sixth Villa player to score in each of his first two Premier League appearances at Villa Park, and the first since Carlton Cole in August 2004.

The Brazil international then teed up a Ramsey double as the midfielder became the youngest player to score more than one goal in a Premier League game for Villa (20y 257d) since Luka Moore got a hat-trick in February 2006 (19y 356d).

Diego Llorente restored parity in the second half as Leeds recorded three goals in consecutive Premier League away games for just the second time, and for the first time since March 1995, to earn a valuable point.

Norwich City 1-1 Crystal Palace: Zaha's penalty falter costs poor travelling Eagles

Norwich City raced out the blocks at Carrow Road but ultimately had to settle for a point after a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.

Teemu Pukki – who has scored 43 per cent of Norwich's top-flight this season (6/14), the highest such share of any player in the competition – netted the fastest goal in the Premier League this season as he finished after just 38 seconds. 

Wilfried Zaha pegged Smith's team back with his 80th goal involvement in England's top division (53G 27A), 79 of which have been for the Eagles.

Michael Olise teed up the Ivory Coast international's second-half equaliser, his seventh goal involvement (3G 4A) across all competitions in 2022 – the most by any Premier League player.

Palace should have secured all three points but Zaha failed from the penalty spot for the first time, on his fifth attempt, meaning the Eagles have won just one of their last 13 away games in the league.

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  • Son Heung-min expecting goals to flow soon for Brennan Johnson Son Heung-min expecting goals to flow soon for Brennan Johnson

    Tottenham captain Son Heung-min has backed the floodgates to open soon for team-mate Brennan Johnson after his latest crucial cameo.

    Johnson’s 63rd-minute introduction helped Spurs fight back from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace 3-1 on Saturday and get their Champions League qualification hopes back on track.

    It was a similar story against Brentford and Brighton earlier this year with the Welsh international beginning to flourish after his £47.5million move from Nottingham Forest in September.

    Johnson scored once and laid on two assists during his first 11 appearances for the club, but his two assists against Palace mean he has six goal involvements in his last 11 outings for Ange Postecoglou’s team.

    It was Johnson’s tenacity which made the leveller after he won back possession from Joachim Andersen before he got the better of Jefferson Lerma to tee up Timo Werner and he later set up Son for Spurs’ third goal.

    “Strong man,” Tottenham captain Son told Spurs Play.

    “That is what we need, especially the way we play. We want to play high, high intensity and who is coming from the bench has to make an impact. Brennan did and he did two amazing assists.

    “I like this guy. I love this guy. I just want to help him as much as I can.

    “Even when we start the game, I tell him, ‘just make sure you’re ready, you’ll make the difference. When you come on, you’ll make the difference,’ and that’s what we need.

    “Brennan did a fantastic job and I just want to give him a big hug.

    “The goals obviously he is missing but I am definitely sure, the way he works, working like this, the goals will come automatically, I am 100 per cent sure.”

    Postecoglou echoed Son’s sentiments on Johnson, he said: “I thought Brennan was good, but I thought all of them were good.

    “In those moments we work hard with our wide players to make sure they’re in the right areas and a couple of times we just weren’t when the ball was flashed across.

    “Brennan did fantastically well to win back possession and when he’s played it across, it’s the other winger that’s there. From our perspective that’s a really important part because it’s not by accident.”

    A slight worry for Spurs was substitute Pape Sarr seemingly in pain at full-time, but Postecoglou played down concerns.

    He added: “Pape’s had a bit of a back issue since he got back from the Africa Cup of Nations. He’s been dealing with it and it’s getting better but it’s not sort of totally free, so it’s something we’re working on with him.”

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    A post shared by Pape matar sarr (@pape_matar_sarr_15)


    A positive for Palace was Eberechi Eze’s goalscoring return after a hamstring injury and new boss Oliver Glasner preached patience after he brought him off in the 65th-minute.

    “You have to take care. We cannot afford to lose him for more weeks again, so this was the reason,” Glasner revealed.

    “I think the whole of England knows Ebs is a great player and he can decide games, but also we could see he does not have the rhythm because for these 65 minutes it was not maybe his highest level.

    “It is normal because he came back from an injury.

    “Now we work also with him that he will be able to play 95, 100 minutes on the highest level.”

  • Jurgen Klopp hails last-gasp Liverpool hero Darwin Nunez Jurgen Klopp hails last-gasp Liverpool hero Darwin Nunez

    Jurgen Klopp hailed Darwin Nunez’s last-gasp winner in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of Nottingham Forest as the perfect response to the City Ground boo-boys.

    Nunez marked his return from a three-game injury lay-off by heading home Alexis Mac Allister’s cross in the ninth minute of added time to lift his side four points clear at the top of the Premier League.

    As Nunez stepped off the bench in the second half, a section of Forest fans chanted: “You’re just a sxxx Andy Carroll”, in reference to the Uruguay international’s pony-tail, which is similar to the one worn by the former Liverpool striker.

    Klopp, who claimed the win was among his side’s biggest of the season, said: “It’s such an important goal, which gives you three points. It’s always super-decisive and, especially for him, super-deserved.

    “Before people start singing that song more often, it’s the best way to immediately calm it down.

    “But they can sing it if Darwin responds like he did today. Before that he had really good moments. (He forced) a sensational save off the goalie, he was immediately in the game.”

    When asked if Nunez understood the song, Klopp added: “I understood it. Yes, I think he understands it, so that’s the best answer.”

    Klopp was delighted his injury-hit side has been able to keep racking up the wins – their fourth in 11 days – following last week’s Carabao Cup triumph.

    “How the boys fought through that is really special,” he added. “The fourth game was the toughest. It was really an unbelievable effort. The boys put in a proper, proper shift.”

    Forest were incensed by referee Paul Tierney’s decision to hand the ball to Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher after halting play while the home side were in possession for an apparent head injury to Ibrahima Konate shortly before the visitors’ winner.

    Home players and staff surrounded Tierney at the final whistle – coach Steven Reid was shown a red card – while Forest later dismissed reports that club owner Evangelos Marinakis had to be restrained by security staff in the tunnel.

    Forest’s referee analyst Mark Clattenburg claimed after the match that the game’s rules state Tierney should have handed possession back to Forest.

    Manager Nuno Espirito Santo refused to comment on the incident, but could not hide his disappointment.

    Anthony Elanga spurned Forest’s best two chances, foiled in a first-half one-on-one by Kelleher before firing narrowly wide from Harry Toffolo’s cross after the interval.

    “Not only that, it was the final pass, in the right moment,” Nuno said. “We will keep trying. We will repeat on the training ground until we get it right.

    “But we limited them very well. We controlled the middle of the park, always covering ourselves, the wingers helping the full-backs, controlling the box and when we had the ball we had the right idea – we go forward.

    “We had moments of good football, but took nothing from the game, so it’s tough to take because our fans deserve to go home after a game like today happy, but they’re not, so we will try.”

  • Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls

    Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 46 points as he became the player with the most wins in the Milwaukee Bucks' history on Friday, with the Chicago Bulls beaten 113-97 at United Center.

    For Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers, however, the focus is squarely on preparing for the postseason as the Bucks eye their third NBA Championship.

    Antetokounmpo surpassed the 40-point mark for the eighth time this season, also adding 16 rebounds and six assists, as the Bucks recorded their fifth straight victory.

    The win was the 489th of Antetokounmpo's Bucks career including both regular-season and playoff games, taking the two-time NBA MVP clear of Sidney Moncrief as the winningest player in franchise history.

    "Everybody has to be on the same page, and I feel like the last couple of games, we're doing that and that's why our defense has taken a step," Antetokounmpo said after the win. 

    "Hopefully, we can keep it up. Right now, it's just about trust. We've just got to trust one another. That's it, win or lose, we have to have the same trust."

    For coach Rivers, who has led the team to an 8-7 run since replacing Adrian Griffin in January, all that matters is ensuring Milwaukee are ready for the postseason.

    "We're winning games, but for us, it's not about that right now," Rivers said. "Our whole key is getting ready. That's the first thing I told the players. 

    "We still have work to do, we're still pushing, we've got to get better. It's nicer to get wins than to lose, but we're not where we want to be yet."

    Milwaukee, who sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 40-21 record, are back in action against the 38-20 Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. 

    They then embark on a four-game California road stretch on Wednesday, when they face the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. 

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